Wednesday, January 11, 2017


We continue with January's penchant for throwing little repairs our way -- ones that would be monumentally significant were I to deal with them alone, but ones that get a quick resolution because Ed is so good at taking things into his own hands and finding a way to make things work.

After breakfast...

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... he goes over to the tire section of a big box store to retrieve the repaired tire to my car (slow leak) and mount it back on so that  it will be ready for Snowdrop pick up.

While at that store, he purchases fifteen TV antennas. There is method to his madness: we have gone through two already that seemed promising initially but then balked, so that every time anyone moves from one room to the next, channels are dropped. Ed is convinced there exists a perfect antenna out there and he intends to work through all of them and stay with the one that works best. The remaining fourteen shall be returned.

Since it's the last time (for a week) that Snowdrop is to spend a chunk of time at the farmhouse, I cannot resist driving out to get a fresh baguette. Equipped with that, I pick her up and bring her back to the farmette.

She is in fine spirits and sets instantly to play with her Duplo. (Note that she no longer balks at the pony tail and indeed, when Ed playfully tugged at it, she informed me, matter-of-factly: ahah is pulling my pony tail! I told ahah to knock it off.)

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(This next photo is notable for its inclusion of the character that she has labeled gaga. Interestingly, the woman does wear glasses but also has very gray hair. Was it a process of elimination, or does she identify gray hair with all gagas out there?)

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Ah, the baguette!

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Beloved baguette... Eat it, dance with it...

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Chew it down to the very end...

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Ed shows her the latest dance steps. She's curious. Baguette almost done!

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And here, we return to this month's "fix it" theme. She loves this one little Duplo item -- the wrench. It doesn't do anything except attach to a block, or to a Duplo character, yet she is rather smitten with trying to get it to "work."

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I think about a child's inclination to want to fix things. I swear my girls weren't really into tools, but was this because I didn't really include my kids in any fix-it projects (mostly because I rarely could fix things on my own)? That would be the obvious answer, but I'm not sure it's correct. I gardened massively when they were little and neither wanted to join me in this, almost always preferring their own indoor games.

But this girl is tempted by the outdoors. When I ask her if she wants to go out to the barn again, she is instantly at the door.

And in the barn, she remembers yesterday's broken coop door and she checks it out right away, asking me if she can close it. I tell her the cheepers would be upset.

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Not wanting to linger too long in the barn, I take her out back. But it's just barely above freezing and she is definitely not dressed for outdoor play. No hat! no mittens! Not the warmest of her jackets! She has always been rather resilient to the cold, but I cannot take watching her hands and nose turn pink.

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She doesn't mind, but I mind.

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I hustle her inside the sheep shed. This is where Ed works on his machining projects. It's also where he used to eat and sleep and so there is a small kitchen and, too, a bathroom. She loves exploring these nooks and crannies of the shed. Initially, she is drawn to his kitchenette.

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But slowly, her gaze falls on the machines.

This is virgin territory for me, both as a mother and a grandmother. Needless to say, I did not have metal milling machines when my girls were growing up. Nor bits that are used to make infinite things out of metal. Ed would have Snowdrop touch everything and more than once he has nudged me to let her explore more, to not always guide her or limit her options.

Of course, much of these tools are dangerous and so my hovering is warranted. But it strikes me that I do not trust her instincts and Ed does. And when she is presented with something like drill bits, she proceeds with appropriate caution.

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Still, I'll only going to go so far. I'll always hover too much, perhaps even more now than when I was a parent. I cannot let her take risks on my watch.

But I do let her pick out the drill bits and handle them with complete fascination, gently returning them to their proper slot after the inspection. Even with my hovering, Snowdrop surely will have more opportunities to see how things work and to fix broken stuff than my girls ever did.

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(And I'm cool about letting her stand on the window sill to gaze out at the fields behind the shed!)

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Evening. She wants so much to have a game of baseball with ahah. Both hands, Snowdrop! Try it with both!

But she does not do that. She just wants to play ball, with ahah chasing the darn thing as she knocks it down again and again.

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Later: Snowdrop is back in her home, an ice storm is raging, Ed and I settle in to eat one of my favorite homemade soups.

I think about last night's political speeches and reactions from all sides to it (you'll not be surprised that I was a fan), and about this day's news conferences and the words that flew there fast and furious, and I think -- this is not right. The world has gone mad. Perhaps it's more important than ever to stay calm. To think about those who are hurting even more than you or me. To speak with compassion. To take great care of our world and those we love. If you and me, we do that, then we'll always be on the right side of history. And isn't that a great thing?

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